Aquatic life in the lake is sparse compared to the rich marine life found around our coasts. Koura (freshwater crayfish, Paranephrops planifrons) were common on the muddy bottom and congregated around dead branches and other debris.
Abundant little fish are, I think, common bullies (Gobiomorphus cotidianus). Like the koura, they hang out around any debris on the bottom. The bullies and koura seem unphased when approached by a big ugly diver and should make good macro photographic subjects.
We saw several smallish catfish and had several of these odd critters followed us and occasionally nibbled the tips of our fins.
You're chilled by 12° water at 40 metres but it does feel toasty when you ascend into the 22° stuff in the shallows (in February).
We were using trimix diluent and hoped to get a little deeper than 43 metres. At this depth the bottom had a very gentle slope and I was keen to make sure we could find our way back to the shallows.
2 December 2011
On a beautiful calm, sunny morning, Richie and I met up at Motutere for what promised to be a good day's diving.
I'd dived previously dived from Motutere Bay (see above), and had heard that the southern side of Motutere Point offered better access to deep water.
We parked up in Waitapu Road and walked through what looks on the map to be an access way (between numbers 3 and 4 Waitapu Rd) to the beach. We asked locals whether this was OK which they said it was. If you're planning to do the same, please be courteous to the locals.
We lugged our gear along the beach, most of the way to the point, and after some awkward gearing up, we were finally swimming out to what we hoped would soon be deep water.
After a short swim out in shallow water, the bottom began to drop away and continued to slope downwards with several rocky outcrops along the way until we levelled out at our planned maximum depth of about 62 metres. It was a bit gloomy and chilly (11 degrees) at depth but otherwise, it was reasonably pleasant and we slowly headed eastwards for about 20 minutes before beginning a slow ascent.
We did a second dive straight out from the access way and spent most of the dive photographing koura on a rocky outcrop at 20 to 24 metres depth. I had the 105 mm VR micro Nikkor which I'd used on only two previous dives. The lens is a little more challenging to use than the 60 mm micro Nikkor so I was reasonably happy with the results below.